Can your car get towed for no insurance?

Your car can get towed for not having insurance. This will typically happen when an officer stops you for a traffic violation and verifies that you’re driving without insurance. This can result in expensive tickets and impound fees, so you're better off paying for car insurance.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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Things to know...

  • Auto insurance is mandatory in most states, and if you get caught driving without car insurance, there are consequences that vary from state to state
  • One of the penalties for driving uninsured, which seems to be gaining popularity across the country, probably because it’s effective, is vehicle impoundment
  • If your car is impounded for no insurance, you will have to provide proof of insurance before you can get it out

Life is unpredictable and full of risks. Most of our daily activities have the potential to go sideways and bring massive losses, and nobody knows what’s going to happen in the next minute. When it comes to routine tasks like driving, accidents can happen at any time, which is why we buy car insurance to protect ourselves from any losses that may result from these incidents.

Some of the risks in our lives are worth taking. Others, not so much. For instance, we all know how devastating car accidents can be, but we still get in our vehicles and drive to work every day. But we do take measures to minimize losses in the event of an accident. Driving, by itself, is not the real risk. Driving uninsured is, and it’s not worth it. Protect yourself and your family by getting car insurance to avoid getting in trouble with state authorities.

Before you purchase car insurance, you can compare quotes from the various insurance providers before you can settle for one of them. Comparison shopping ensures that you get the coverage that best suits your needs. In addition to that, comparing quotes online is the most effective way to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Driving Without Car Insurance

Many US states have minimum auto insurance requirements. You can’t drive legally in these states without meeting these requirements. The only states without mandatory auto insurance requirements are New Hampshire and Virginia. You can’t drive legally without car insurance in the rest 48 states and the District of Columbia.

That said, there is still a high number of motorists without insurance in US states. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), at least one in every eight motorists on US roads doesn’t have car insurance, for different reasons. Driving without car insurance has some costly repercussions, depending on where you come from. Penalties vary from state to state.

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What if you get caught driving without car insurance?

As stated above, the consequences for driving without car insurance vary from state to state. You will not find any two states with identical auto insurance laws. Very similar, maybe, but not completely identical. Before you hit the road with your new ride, make sure that you understand your state’s auto insurance laws. Here are some of the penalties you stand to face if you get caught driving without car insurance:

Vehicle Impounding

If you were wondering if your car can be impounded if you are caught driving without car insurance, the answer is yes. Your car can be towed for no insurance and taken to an impound lot. Usually, for a police officer to catch you driving without car insurance and possibly have your car towed for no insurance, you must have committed some other traffic offense. The traffic officer may pull you over for overspeeding, driving with a broken taillight, failing to signal, or some other infringement.

Sometimes, the police officer may run your tag and pull you over solely for driving uninsured. Some states (Michigan, for instance) have technology that can notify an officer of an uninsured driver whether the vehicle is not in operation and legally parked or on the road.

In some states, if you can’t provide proof of insurance after you have been pulled over, your vehicle will be impounded.

In other states, officers have some leeway in deciding to have your vehicle towed after you fail to provide proof of insurance. For instance, instead of impounding your vehicle, an officer can decide to let off with a ticket with instructions to drive straight home if you are pulled over just a few blocks away from home.

Having your car impounded can be expensive as you’ll have to pay to get it out. Since most impound lots charge by the day, the cost of getting back your car can add up pretty quickly.

Suspended License

If you are caught driving without insurance, you could have your driver’s license suspended. Your state’s department of motor vehicles will hold onto your license until you can provide proof of insurance. But that’s not all; you will have to pay to have your license reinstated. If your license is suspended a certain number of times for driving uninsured, your license will be revoked.


Ticketing is the most common way of maintaining order on our roads. Many traffic offenses, overspeeding, missing signals, driving with broken lights, etc., are punishable via a ticket. If you get caught driving without car insurance, you will be ticketed.

Tickets can be expensive, and you may end up spending more on them (and other fines) than you would spend on car insurance. And car insurance is more expensive after you’ve gotten a ticket or other infraction on your driving record. Don’t risk, go online and compare quotes from various auto insurance providers to obtain affordable auto insurance.

Penalties for driving without car insurance don’t stop there. There is the possibility of getting jailed. However, whether you can be jailed for driving without car insurance depends on your state’s auto insurance laws.

Possible penalties, notwithstanding driving without car insurance is a risky affair. What if you get involved in an at-fault accident? How are you going to pay for the damages?

Having your vehicle towed, getting a ticket, or jail time should not be your only concerns. Lives may be at stake, and the sooner you get your auto insurance situation in order, the better. Auto insurance doesn’t have to be expensive (if that’s your concern), comparison shopping can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing coverage.


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